Spring is around the corner and there are several ways to make the season go well when it comes to the “busy-ness” of an agronomy season.
Your Farm Service employees are making every effort to be ready for Spring and custom application. We always look forward to the many aspects and options of custom application but success often starts with maps and a clear understanding of what we can do for you. Please be sure that we have the correct maps at the right location and review plans so we can get off to a fast and successful start. As custom applicators do more across various locations to get the work done, maps are critical.
We desire to have billings and statements as accurate as can be and your help is critical. This can be accomplished by helping us be sure we clearly understand the billing splits for various farms, fields, products, NH3 tanks, etc. before we bill. We are able to identify each invoice ticket with a farm or location ID or note if the location office knows your desires. This designation will follow the invoice to the statement for your records
We desire to have a safe workplace for our employees and for you when at our locations. Our Safety Committee oversees that effort and we are currently holding our preseason all-employee “Right-to-Know” meetings. We hope you are also using NH3 safety equipment and have water available in addition to the water on nurse tanks. As work sites get busier with truck and equipment traffic, locations can become a hazardous place and it pays to be alert and observant. Insurance coverage also requires employees-only in certain high-risk areas.
And from Shannon Gravett, Treynor Manager:
“With spring fast approaching now is the time to finalize your spring herbicide, fungicide and insecticide needs. There are a vast array of rebates and financing plans available for each and every grower to utilize this year. I encourage you to discuss with your local Farm Service agronomist what options will best fit on your farm so that you can maximize your yields while at the same time maintaining your bottom line. We look forward to working with you and having a safe and productive year.”
We will continue to fill Propane tanks to 80% through March unless directed differently by customers.
In my last newsletter I indicated we were in a buying opportunity that would be short lived before the next increase. I wish I could say I was wrong, but that is exactly what happened. I look for crude to trade from $92 - $116 a barrel in the next couple months. You may want to lock in short term needs when we see fall backs near $92, if they occur. $100 crude has already been reached twice with unrest in Libya and I no longer see it as a trading barrier.
Many may still remember the fall back we saw in fuel prices the summer of 2008 when crude reached a high of $140 and fell to $32 by year end. Since November 2008 we have seen a steady incline in crude prices for 37 months now. In the short run our incline looks as though it will continue. Typically what goes up always comes down however, so I caution farmers to lock in production costs with sales for this year, and our commercial customers to bid jobs reflecting current prices and then lock in short term needs to cover current bids.
Propane prices ranged from $1.71 - $1.81 most of the winter, recently propane spiked to $2.10 due to contracting and supply problems in the Belvieu pipe line system. Hopefully this problem will resolve itself yet this month so we can get back to purchasing propane for next season. I would like to remind customers propane will be higher in 2011/2012 so budget accordingly. I expect to have a contract price for next season by mid-May. Changes this season will be a discount not only for cash, but also budget billing, and possibly early summer fills at a lower price than summer fills in August.
Lakeside Country Store:
I hope all is doing well this month as the weather is changing for the best. I know we could always have a final cold and snow snap. If this happens remember we carry the best in shovels and ice melting salt. There are some great saving in the store stop on down and take a look at our winter close outs and save up from 30 to 70% off many items.
THE CHICKENS ARE HERE! We are ready for the season to begin with Chickens. If we don’t carry what you are looking for please let us order whatever you need. Also, put on your calendar the Chick Days will be March 18th and 19th this year. We are planning some fun things this year so stop on down and join the fun.
For all you horse people we are having a Myler Bit Clinic on March 28th. Dale Myler is one of the leading experts on The Art of Communication Between Your Horse & Your Hands. The Mylers have designed an entire bitting system to effectively communicate with any horse at any level of training. So, sign up at the store or call 712-366-8111 to reserve you spot for this great clinic.
Ampride Convenience Stores:
We have a lot of new things coming to the Lakeside Ampride in the next couple months. First we have ordered all new Gilbarco Fuel Dispensers. These fuel pumps are leading in technology for the fuel industry. Second we will be up grading our food for your enjoyment.
Don’t forget with all this melting snow we have a wonderful car wash at the Madison Avenue Ampride. With all that, have a great month.